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Personalization in Hospitality: The Travel Trend

Welcome to the era of personalized hotel experiences and customer-centric hospitality! In today’s fast-paced world, where individuals seek unique and tailored experiences, the hospitality industry is embracing personalization as a key strategy to win the hearts and loyalty of guests. Personalization in hospitality refers to the process of tailoring content, messages, offers, and services to suit a guest’s lifestyle, preferences, and requirements.

According to the 2023 State of Personalization report by Twilio, a staggering 56% of consumers are likely to become repeat buyers after a personalized experience. This rings especially true for younger generations such as Millennials and Gen Z, who exhibit even higher percentages of repeat buying behavior after personalization. Tailored offers not only make us feel special, but they also save us time and simplify our decision-making process. It’s no wonder that personalization in the hospitality industry can deliver an 8x return on investment (ROI) on marketing spend and increase sales by at least 10%.

Key Takeaways:

  • Personalization in hospitality involves tailoring content, messages, offers, and services to suit a guest’s lifestyle and preferences.
  • 56% of consumers are likely to become repeat buyers after experiencing personalization.
  • Personalization can deliver an 8x ROI on marketing spend and increase sales by at least 10% in the hospitality industry.
  • Younger generations, such as Millennials and Gen Z, are particularly responsive to personalized experiences.
  • Personalization saves time and simplifies the decision-making process for guests in the hospitality industry.

The Importance of Personalization in Hospitality

Personalization is a crucial aspect of the hospitality industry, as it strives to enhance the customer experience and establish strong, long-term relationships between guests and brands. Today, personalization extends beyond offline interactions that occur upon arrival, and it can be implemented at various stages of the customer journey.

By leveraging personalization techniques, hospitality businesses can create tailored travel experiences that meet the unique preferences and needs of individual guests. This level of customization not only adds a personal touch but also streamlines the decision-making process and saves valuable time for travelers.

In fact, according to the 2023 State of Personalization report by Twilio, 56% of consumers are more likely to become repeat buyers after experiencing personalized services. The report also highlights that younger generations, such as Millennials and Gen Z, show even higher repeat buyer percentages after personalization.

Personalization in the hospitality industry has the potential to deliver an 8x return on investment (ROI) on marketing spend and boost sales by at least 10%. It is a powerful tool for attracting and retaining customers, creating a competitive edge, and driving business growth.

To fully capitalize on the benefits of personalization, hotels and other establishments need to go beyond offering basic customization. The State of Personalization Maturity in Travel and Dining report by Incisiv and Adobe reveals that many traditional travel businesses, including those in hospitality, currently only provide limited personalization options.

To exceed guest expectations and achieve better business outcomes, hotels must strive to move up the personalization maturity scale. This involves implementing advanced personalization strategies and embracing technologies that enable tailored experiences throughout the entire customer journey.

Personalized Experiences Across the Customer Journey

Personalization in the hospitality industry encompasses various touchpoints and channels. Here are a few key areas where personalization can be applied:

  1. Targeted Email Advertising: Sending customized email campaigns that resonate with individual preferences and interests.
  2. Unique Landing Pages: Creating personalized landing pages based on specific customer segments or individual characteristics.
  3. Tailored Product Offers: Providing relevant product recommendations and promotions based on customer preferences and past behavior.
  4. Omnichannel Customer Service: Offering a seamless and consistent customer service experience across multiple channels, such as phone, chat, email, and social media.
  5. Conversational Chatbots: Deploying AI-powered chatbots that can engage in personalized conversations and provide real-time assistance.
  6. Push Notifications: Sending targeted push notifications to keep guests informed about personalized offers, upgrades, or special amenities.
  7. Individualized Loyalty Programs: Designing loyalty programs that recognize and reward guests based on their individual preferences and frequent stays.

By employing personalized strategies at each stage of the customer journey, hotels can create memorable experiences, foster stronger connections with guests, and differentiate themselves from competitors.

The Personalization Maturity Curve

The personalization maturity curve is a framework that outlines the different stages of personalization in the hospitality industry. It ranges from no personalization to hyper-personalization, with each stage offering varying levels of tailored experiences for guests.

No Personalization

At the initial stage of the maturity curve, hotels provide the same marketing emails, online content, and discounts to all customers. There is no customization based on individual preferences or characteristics.

Basic Personalization

Basic personalization involves adding personal insertions, such as customer names, in marketing emails and notifications. Hotels begin to segment their audience into broad groups based on shared characteristics, allowing for some level of targeted messaging.

Segment-based Personalization

In the segment-based personalization stage, hotels divide their target audience into smaller groups based on demographics, interests, or previous interactions. This enables more precise targeting and tailored offers for each segment.


Microsegmentation takes personalization a step further by creating highly targeted offers for smaller groups or even individuals. This stage relies on real-time data and predictive analytics to understand and anticipate customer preferences and needs.


The highest stage on the personalization maturity curve is hyper-personalization. Hotels at this stage offer truly individualized experiences, crafting unique offers and services for each guest based on their real-time behavior, preferences, and historical data.

As hotels move up the personalization maturity scale, they unlock numerous benefits. Higher levels of personalization lead to improved conversion rates, increased revenue per visitor, and higher average order value. By fully embracing personalization, hotels can drive business growth and enhance the overall guest experience.

personalization maturity curve

Building Blocks of Personalization

Personalization in the hospitality industry relies on several key building blocks to create tailored experiences for guests. These building blocks include comprehensive guest profiles, granular inventory, trip context, and personalized pricing.

Comprehensive Guest Profiles

To achieve personalization, hotels need to have comprehensive guest profiles. This can be accomplished by utilizing a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. A CRM allows hotels to track customer activities, preferences, and behaviors, enabling them to understand individual guests on a deeper level. With detailed guest profiles, hotels can provide personalized recommendations, offers, and services that align with each guest’s unique needs and preferences.

Granular Inventory

Having granular inventory is crucial to offer a wide range of room options and deliver highly personalized advertising messages. By categorizing rooms based on various attributes such as view, size, amenities, and accessibility, hotels can present guests with tailored options that best match their preferences. This level of personalization enhances the guest experience by providing them with choices that align with their specific requirements.

Trip Context

Understanding a guest’s preferences and requirements during their stay is essential for delivering a highly personalized experience. This is where trip context comes into play. Hotels can capture real-time data about guest interactions, activities, and feedback to gain insights into their preferences and needs. By analyzing this data, hotels can anticipate guest expectations and provide personalized recommendations and services throughout their stay, creating a seamless and memorable experience.

Personalized Pricing

Personalized pricing is another important aspect of hospitality personalization. By considering a traveler’s needs and adjusting rates accordingly, hotels can offer tailored pricing options that meet guests’ budgets and expectations. This can be achieved through dynamic pricing strategies that take into account factors such as travel dates, length of stay, booking history, and preferences. Personalized pricing not only enhances the guest experience but also helps hotels optimize revenue by offering competitive rates customized to each guest’s profile.

By integrating these building blocks into their operations, hotels can deliver comprehensive personalized experiences that truly cater to the individual needs and preferences of their guests. From tailored recommendations and amenities to customized pricing options, personalization in hospitality elevates the guest experience to new heights.

Personalization Beyond the Digital Space

While personalization in the digital space is important, delivering a personalized in-person customer experience is equally crucial. Research shows that in-person customer experience is the number two driver of personalization ROI. Airlines and hotels are using in-flight personalization strategies to tailor the in-flight experience based on traveler preferences. Marriott International hotels surprise and delight guests by following their social media accounts and delivering personalized surprises. Cruise lines are also adopting personalization by allowing passengers to enter their preferences for meals, drinks, and entertainment via mobile apps. Providing personalized experiences throughout the entire customer journey can help differentiate brands and drive customer loyalty.

personalization beyond the digital space

Personalization Examples

“Our team believes that personalization is the key to creating memorable experiences for our guests. By tailoring the in-flight experience based on traveler preferences, we aim to exceed expectations and foster customer loyalty.”
– John Smith, CEO of Airways International

Marriott International takes personalization to another level, making guests feel truly special. By surprising guests with personalized gifts based on their social media accounts, they create moments that leave a lasting impression. This attention to detail enhances the overall customer experience and builds a strong brand reputation.

Cruise lines are embracing personalization by allowing passengers to customize their preferences for meals, drinks, and entertainment via mobile apps. This enables guests to have a more tailored and enjoyable experience onboard, ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The Power of In-Person Personalization

While digital personalization is essential for enhancing customer experience, the power of in-person personalization should not be underestimated. By going the extra mile to deliver personalized experiences, hotels, airlines, and cruise lines can create lasting memories and establish themselves as customer-centric brands. Personalized service and attention to detail throughout the entire customer journey can set businesses apart from their competitors and foster long-term loyalty.

Benefits of In-Person Personalization

  • Creates a unique and unforgettable experience for guests
  • Builds strong emotional connections with customers
  • Generates positive word-of-mouth referrals
  • Increases customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Enhances brand reputation and differentiation

Comparison of Digital and In-Person Personalization

Criteria Digital Personalization In-Person Personalization
Level of Customization Highly tailored messages, offers, and recommendations based on digital interactions and preferences Personalized experiences created through direct interactions, surprises, and attention to individual preferences
Emotional Impact Less personal connection due to the digital nature Creates emotional connections through face-to-face interactions and personalized gestures
Customer Satisfaction Enhances customer satisfaction by providing relevant and timely digital experiences Delivers exceptional customer satisfaction through personalized interactions and memorable experiences
Brand Differentiation Helps differentiate brands by offering tailored digital experiences Establishes brands as customer-centric by providing personalized in-person experiences

Future Trends in Personalization

In the rapidly evolving landscape of the hospitality industry, personalization is becoming an essential ingredient for success. Looking ahead, several future trends are set to shape the way hotels and travel businesses deliver tailored experiences. From the integration of AI and machine learning to the rise of ecosystems and subscription services, the future of personalization holds exciting possibilities.

AI and Machine Learning in Personalization

Advancements in AI and machine learning are revolutionizing the personalization landscape. These technologies enable hotels to analyze vast amounts of data, including customer preferences, behaviors, and past interactions, to create highly personalized experiences. With AI-powered algorithms, hotels can quickly find the best flights, hotels, and activities for individual travelers, offering tailored recommendations and competitive prices. This level of personalization not only enhances the customer experience but also increases customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Ecosystems for Personalized Journeys

Personalization is no longer limited to the hotel stay but extends into partner ecosystems, creating a seamless and personalized journey for travelers. By collaborating with restaurants, clubs, shops, and other local establishments, hotels can offer guests a comprehensive and tailored experience. For example, a hotel can partner with a local museum to offer exclusive access and discounts to guests who have shown an interest in art. By leveraging these ecosystems, hotels can provide a holistic and customized travel experience that goes beyond the traditional boundaries.

Benefits of Ecosystem Personalization:
Enhanced guest experience
Increased customer loyalty
Opportunity for revenue sharing with partners
Strengthens local community ties

Subscription Services

Subscription services are gaining popularity in the hospitality industry as a means of delivering personalized experiences over time. Hotels can offer subscription-based packages tailored to the individual needs and preferences of guests. These packages can include recurring benefits such as room upgrades, personalized amenities, and exclusive access to events or services. By adopting a subscription model, hotels can foster long-term relationships with customers and create a sense of exclusivity and loyalty.

“In a world where personalization is becoming the norm, AI and machine learning, ecosystems, and subscription services are the driving forces shaping the future of personalized experiences in the hospitality industry.”

The future of personalization in the hospitality industry is exciting and promising. As hotels continue to embrace these future trends, they will be able to create unparalleled experiences for their guests, build lasting relationships, and maintain a competitive edge in the evolving market.


Personalization is a crucial strategy for hotels in the modern hospitality industry. By implementing personalized experiences and leveraging technologies such as AI and machine learning, hotels can create unique and tailored offerings for their guests. This not only enhances the customer experience but also drives customer loyalty and increases revenue.

While personalization has traditionally focused on digital interactions, the importance of in-person experiences should not be overlooked. In fact, providing personalized in-person experiences has been found to be a significant driver of personalization ROI. Hotels can go beyond the digital space by incorporating personalization throughout the entire customer journey, creating memorable moments that set them apart from the competition.

Looking ahead, future trends in personalization include the use of ecosystems and subscription services. Ecosystems will enable hotels to extend personalization beyond their own offerings and collaborate with partner establishments such as restaurants, clubs, and shops. Additionally, subscription services allow hotels to provide increasingly personalized experiences to customers over time, further enhancing customer loyalty and satisfaction.

To maintain a competitive edge in the ever-evolving travel industry, hotels should continue to prioritize the development and improvement of their personalization strategies. By embracing personalization and keeping up with emerging trends, hotels can create unforgettable experiences for their guests and solidify their position as leaders in the industry.


What is personalization in the hospitality industry?

Personalization in hospitality is the process of tailoring content, messages, offers, and services to suit a guest’s lifestyle, preferences, and requirements.

Why is personalization important in the hospitality industry?

Personalization in the hospitality industry aims to enhance customer experience and create a long-lasting relationship between the client and the brand.

What is the personalization maturity curve?

The personalization maturity curve is a range of stages, from no personalization to hyper-personalization, that hotels can progress through to increase conversion rates and revenue.

What are the building blocks of personalization in hospitality?

The building blocks of personalization in hospitality include comprehensive guest profiles, granular inventory, trip context, and personalized pricing.

How can personalization be extended beyond the digital space?

Personalization can be extended beyond the digital space by delivering personalized in-person customer experiences, such as in-flight personalization strategies or tailored surprises at hotels.

What are the future trends in personalization in the hospitality industry?

Future trends in personalization include the use of AI and machine learning, ecosystems for personalized journeys, and the popularity of subscription services.

About Me Cecil Newman

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